Unzen Onsen 雲仙温泉
Historical hot springs resort
Famed for its seasonal sweeps of color and the natural sulfur springs that pour from the earth, Unzen Onsen was designated Japan's first national park back in 1934. Exploring nearby Mt. Unzen is also popular.
- Relaxing in the healing waters of Unzen Onsen
- Unzen Lemonade, the perfect way to quench your thirst after strolling through town
- Tasting eggs soft-boiled steamed in the Unzen Hells
How to Get There
Reach Unzen Onsen via bus or car.
From Nagasaki City , it takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes to drive to Unzen.
Buses run from various places to Unzen Onsen. The trip from Shimabara Port and Shimabara Station takes about 40 minutes, or about 90 minutes from Isahaya Station. Buses to and from Nagasaki Station take about 100 minutes, and are infrequent.
History of the hot springs
Unzen Onsen is rich in hot water, and has been known as a hot spring resort since the early Meiji era (1868-1912). In the 1910s, Unzen Onsen was further developed as a summer resort due to an influx of non-Japanese visitors. Since then it has grown in popularity with international and Japanese visitors alike.
A dark history
Another big pull of the area are the Unzen Hells. Here, hot springs gush out, fumaroles shizzle and erupt, and the smell of sulfur wafts in the air. You can see boiling hot springs at more than 30 hells.
Named for their hell-like appearance, these hot spring fields were once a place of torture. From 1627 to 1631, many Christian martyrs met their deaths here because of their religious beliefs.
Look out for the monument erected out of respect for the martyrs.
Beauty is more than skin deep
Despite Unzen Onsen's unique sulfur smell, Unzen spring water has marvelous qualities. Containing antibacterial properties, this water is said to be good for beautifying skin.
Other beneficial properties include easing back and muscle pain as well as helping with fatigue, diabetes, and a number of other ailments.
Should your time at Unzen Onsen be limited, consider a visit to the free Unzen Foot Onsen. With only ten seats allocated around this foot bath square, it remains a popular spot for refreshing one's weary feet after hiking around the town.
* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.